Mini drivers go the distance for KidsCan

As New Zealanders kick back with some chocolate eggs this Easter, Mini enthusiasts will be taking to their cars for a drive from the top of the country to the bottom in the Pork Pie Charity Run for KidsCan.

Starting on Good Friday in Kaitaia and arriving in Invercargill the following Wednesday, 60 Minis and their 125 drivers and passengers will cover over 2500kms through New Zealand’s biggest cities and smallest towns. When they drive through, people are encouraged to cheer them on and pop a coin in the collection tin. A full itinerary is available here.

This is the fifth Pork Pie Charity Run since its inception in 2009 and the second consecutive event KidsCan has been a charity partner. In 2015, it raised more than $200,000 and this year it hopes to raise at least the same amount.

KidsCan was set up almost 12 years ago to support the education of thousands of disadvantaged New Zealand children in 621 decile one-four schools nationwide.

Event creators and organisers Murray and Annie Hemsley see the day to day poverty of the needy families in our communities through their jobs as a nurse and a special education adviser.

“KidsCan faces up to the issue and delivers to our most vulnerable kids and that is why we support them,” they say.

The latest figures indicate there are 295,000 Kiwi kids living in hardship—that’s one in four.

The Pork Pie Charity Run is the brainchild of Murray, Annie and Rod Harris who wanted to support the 50th anniversary of the Mini by taking a trip that paid more than just homage to the movie Goodbye Pork Pie.

“So for the love of a good woman and a Mini, a fun loving, adventurous road trip was born.  Those who share the adventure are the ones to be thanked because it is these people who give so much to help those with so little. This is family, this is New Zealand, this is what we are about,” Murray says.

KidsCan CEO and founder Julie Chapman says it’s excited to be involved in the charity run again.

“We are eagerly anticipating what promises to be a fun and memorable six days on the road. The run covers the length of New Zealand and travels to areas where many of the schools we support are located which makes it even more relevant for us.”

Mini New Zealand has partnered with the event since its inception and this year, it’s provided three new Minis as well as apparel for the teams, prize packs and a team lunch.

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